presents you bion line to your front door on time and unharmed. a young veteran with hollywood dreams goes to meet a new mentor and gets the surprise of his life. >> whoa! >> hollywood legend tom hanks is standing up for heroes. >> from the global resources of abc stnews, this is "nightline, december 10th, 2012. good evening, i'm bill weir. in the annals of radio pranks this was hardly among the most mean-spirited. in a mischievous attempt to phone dutch chis kate took a very dark turn after a nurse who seemed to fall for the prank was found dead, two shock jocks behind the hoax received threats, lost their show, and after days in hiding are now speaking out. here's abc's cecilia vega.
>> rang king henry vii hospital to try to get in touch with the duchess. . >> can you believe what's happened today? >> and they were put through to kate's ward. >> in just a few days this australian duo have gone from celebrating their infamous pranks to sobbing about it. >> they were the worst accents ever. >> reporter: to sobbing about it. >> personally i'm -- >> last night d.j.s mel greig and michael christian came out of hiding on australia's channel 9 tv, offering a tearful apology. >> the entertainment value wasn't us, it was meant to be in our silly accents, that's where it was meant to end. >> reporter: but it didn't end there. instead it ended in tragedy with the apparent suicide of a nurse who became the butt of a royal hoax heard around the world. these shock jocks were themselves shocked. >> shattered, gutted, heartbroken and obviously, you know, our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends.
>> not a minute goes by that we don't think about the family and what they must be going through and the thought we may have played a part in that is -- g gut-wrenching. >> who's to think. we've been handed a phone number, all right? we have been told that this phone number is the hospital where kate middleton is currently staying. >> reporter: just last week, it was all laughs for michael and mel when they called up the london hospital where kate middleton was recovering from severe morning sickness. pretending to be queen lit beth and prince charles. >> hello there, may i please speak to kate please, my granddaughter? >> hold on, ma'am. >> reporter: they said they never imagined they'd get through. >> good morning, how may i help you? >> i'm after my granddaughter, kate, i want to see how her tummy bug is going. >> she's sleeping at the moment,
she's had an uneventful night. >> 100 people before us would have tried it. the accents were terrible not for a second did we expect to speak to kate let alone have a conversation with anyone at the hospital. we wanted to be hung up on. >> reporter: but that didn't happen. the call was patched through to kate's private nurse where some of the duchess' personal health information was given out for the world to hear. >> she has been getting fluids to rehydrate her because she was quite dehydrated when she came in. she's stable at the moment. >> okay, i'll just feed my little corgies, then. >> reporter: the duo could have never predicted the tragedy that followed. days later, jacintha saldana, the nurse who first picked up, would be found dead. >> we found out about the same time and i think it was -- >> the worst phone call i ever had in my life. >> reporter: but things could get even worse for the deejays. they've been yanked off the
airwaves. the radio station canceled their show. all the biting headlines continue and they may have to face questioning from the australian police. here in the streets of sydney, there's still support for the team. >> she didn't sound like the queen. >> no, not at all. >> i think it was an amazing prank that has gone tranlcally wrong. >> reporter: but the global backlash has been fierce from online death threats to calls for prison. >> the question becomes as a legal matter what possible crimes were committed by the prank itself? i think it's going to be nearly impossible to legally connect the prank to the death. when it comes to criminal charges. >> reporter: the station announced it is suspending phony phone calls and advertising indefinitely. >> the real punishment here for the deejays and the stations can come from the public and from advertisers. that's going to be the way that
they can really suffer. >> reporter: as for the popular deejays, they may be silenced and out of a radio job. but they have one final thing to say to a grieving family. >> we thought about this a million times in my head that i wanted to reach out to them and give them a big hug and say sorry. i hope they're okay. i really do. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm cecilia vega in sydney, australia. coming up next, we follow that present behind the scenes with the people racing to get all the holiday cheer you bought online under your tree in the nick of time. ♪ [ male announcer ] with free package pickup from the u.s. postal service the holidays are easy. visit usps.com. pay, print, and have it picked up for free before december 20h for delivery in time for the holidays. you can even give us special instructions
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"nightline" continues from new york city with bill weir. >> christmas may be a couple of weeks away. for those in charge of making sure your twirinkets and treasus make it in time, the season is happening right now. millions upon millions of packages are winging their way across the country as i speak. one of the busiest shipping nights of all time. john donvan brings us a look at the people hard at work trying to outdo the big man up north. >> reporter: the story of a pie in a box at christmas time and the many people who help get it
from point "a" -- >> off to honolulu. >> reporter: to point "b." >> i hope it's something good. >> which is the story of fedex which like u.p.s. and the u.s. postal service is how christmas gets handled these days. >> a hand crafted metal book end. >> reporter: the busiest day of the year for fedex, shipping an estimated 19 million packages. thanks to the start of the busiest time of year for online shopping. thanks to procrastinators, there are 14 shopping days left which translates into how many shipping days? that depends what you're sending and how much you're willing to spend. the u.s. postal service can be cheaper but down to the wire, fedex and u.p.s. can save the day with last minute deliveries which brings us to our pie which i picked up in a historic little town in virginia from a friendly little place called -- you see the sign. hi, john. >> avis, how are you?
>> reporter: meet mom, avis renshaw. as avis showed me what was on offer, i explained i had it in mind to send the pie to my friend and colleague yunji de nies. one-time abc news reporter, now happily anchoring the news at kitv in honolulu, hawaii. distance involved in roughly 6,000 miles. my deadly for getting the pie to her? 24 hours. you send pies to hawaii? and they get there in one piece? >> amazingly, yes, they do. >> reporter: for precious and fragile items? best to leave the packaging to the professionals. >> have a great day. >> reporter: and the pie is out the door. first human link in the fedex chain. the first of many. >> i place the pie securely in one designated area in the truck. >> reporter: for the next few hours, you see that purple line? that's our pie on its journey headed for memphis, tennessee. why memphis? well, look at this place. it is fedex's global superhub which at more than 800 acres
feels more like a military base than a shipping facility. and with christmas approaching it's a military base gearing up for battle. >> it's what we prepare for. it's our super bowl. >> reporter: this is your super bowl? >> this is our super bowl. >> reporter: marcus martinez keeps the planes running on time. and the vans and the trucks and 42 miles of conveyor belts. every package is sent to a hub leerk like this before going on its journey. >> how big of a surge? >> from 1.5 million a night to between 1.9 and 2.1 million a night. >> push back approved 1-8 right. >> reporter: let's check in on our pie, which they were kind enough to track just for us. it's coming in for a landing soon. out to the tarmac nonstop on the runways. okay, so these are now all incoming still. >> exactly. we're going to bring in 15 jet aircraft tonight. >> reporter: tonight alone? >> tonight alone. >> reporter: how busy does this place get compared to other airports?
>> after dark it's the busiest airport in the world. >> reporter: most of the work here happens after midnight. timing is everything. back in the command center an on screens all over a clock is counting down the deadline for getting all the packages in and out again. and then our pie is now safely on the ground. thanks to these two members of the "nightline" pie delivery team. >> thanks to the fine landing by the first officer the pie is in one piece. >> reporter: normally the pie would be in one of these shipping containers. >> where's our pie? >> we have your pyrite here. >> reporter: for now it's being carried so we can track it through our next stop. they call this the matrix. >> if you stand here for 15 minutes you will see the world's economy pass before your eyes. >> reporter: it's a building functioning as a sorting machine. the incoming packages slide in here. >> you'll see major tech shipments, you will see medical shipments. >> reporter: and a pie? >> and a pie. >> reporter: into the matrix goes our box the pie inside. courtesy of lawrence wicks.
>> the packages never stop coming. i've got to get back to sorting, okay? >> reporter: and the box once it drops out of sight into a hidden place of chutes and conveyer belts and scanners it is steered by belts to another building. ten minutes later, it comes down a chute and gets picked up and put into a container. >> off to honolulu. >> reporter: and then it's out to the runway and takeoff. and six hours later, landing in hawaii. our last driver to deliver -- >> i hope this is something good. oh! >> reporter: happy holidays, yunji. >> thanks, john. >> reporter: don't just thank me. avis and diane and bill and marcus and lawrence and bill and greg and darrell all had a hand in getting you that pie. i'm john donvan for "nightline." >> how do i get on your gift list, john? thanks for that. coming up a veteran
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more than 200,000 troops are expected to retire from the military this year and when they come home they face another kind of battle, breaking into a new career. many are looking for a helping hand. when one soldier with hollywood aspirations went looking for a mentor he never dreamed who would answer.
here's abc's bob woodruff. >> reporter: gabriel posey is about to get the biggest surprise of his life. he is a 32-year-old staff sergeant in the army just back from 11 months in afghanistan. now along with 200,000 veterans leaving the military this year alone he is looking for a new career. gabriel applied for a mentor through a group called american corporate partners, acp. what he doesn't know yet is his mentor is one of the biggest names in hollywood. what would be your dream now that you are going into this world in the u.s. you've been away from the last nine years since you've been serving? >> my dream is to write for television or film. >> have you done that before? >> no. >> have you done film or television work? >> i have no formal training. >> this is purely a dream? >> yes. >> reporter: who better to help him reach that dream job than tom hanks. >> i've got to find bubba!
>> reporter: some of his best known roles are from films about war. "forrest gump" and "saving private ryan." hanks is a long-standing advocate of veterans affairs. >> when you were a kid did you think about the military? >> yes. because i lived in alameda, california, during the vietnam war. alameda where the naval air station is. i'm going to say 98% of my friends had their fathers serving overseas. so the military was a fabric of life. >> reporter: to control his expectations, i tell gabriel that his mentor is not really a well-known person in the industry. i lied. i'm going to show you who this is. i think you'll be happy. >> oh! wow! no way. i love tom hanks. >> all right. so we're going to take you down there to meet him for the first time. >> reporter: on our drive over gabriel gets his thoughts and questions together before his big meeting with a hollywood legend.
>> what would be the number one thing you would tell to gabriel about getting into the film industry? >> you have to say i know who i am and know what my skills are and i'm in this for the long haul. perseverance. it all comes down to that. gabriel, how are you? what a pleasure. nice to see you. you've got to call me tom. >> reporter: to begin their meeting, tom hanks serves gabriel from teapots straight off the sets of "devin vee choed" and "charlie wilson's war." >> when you first started did you envision yourself where you are now? >> i didn't envision this. i just wanted to have the fun of filming. >> have you ever tasted failure while working? how did you deal with it? >> oh, yeah. you as a writer are going to write things that no one is going to get, no one is going to understand. you can't get that get in your way. i have made films that haven't done any business. without a doubt. but that doesn't mean i haven't learned something from doing that and that doesn't mean that individual project is not going to have a life long after what
i've done. >> reporter: gabriel is one of 1600 mentees in the program. is this the type of stuff you're looking to do? >> reporter: mentorship is not about giving him a job. it is really just to give him some guidance. >> meeting him was daunting but it inspired me and energized me for what lies ahead. >> reporter: gabriel says he will move in february from his home in philadelphia to the sunshine of l.a. a brand new dream and a long way from afghanistan. for "nightline" i'm bob woodruff in los angeles. >> you can see more of standing up for heroes in our five-part series with tom hanks and abcnews.com/heroes. millions with roots in the southern side of north america are in mourning tonight after singer jenny rivera was killed in a plane crash last night. she is known as the diva of the
banda. the california native exploded onto mexico's music scene as a single mom in her 30s, became a star and was poised to break into the american market with a comedy series on abc. jenny rivera was 43. up next on "jimmy kimmel live." >> my favorite thing about hanukkah is there's no wrong way to spell it. i think chewbacca is acceptable. >> ted danson. >> how nice. you wore your men's club tie. >> yeah. >> oh! >> and emilia clarke. >> you got punched by a hooker? >> yes. >> what did she say? >> introducing reindeer in the mirror.